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British Museum director backs Parthenon Marbles loan plan

A loan agreement between Britain and Greece over the Parthenon Marbles may be on the table after Mark Jones, the British Museum’s interim director, told a British newspaper that he would support such a plan.

In an interview with the London Times, Jones was questioned about the possibility of overseeing an arrangement for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece if he remained the director of the British Museum in a couple of years.

“Yes,” Jones replied. “I could easily imagine a relationship between us and the Acropolis Museum [in Athens] that included mutual loans. Why not? They have some rather fabulous objects as well.”

Greece has said it would be willing to loan antiquities to the British Museum in return for being able to temporarily exhibit the sculptures in Athens.

The statues, which date back to the fifth-century BC, have been located in the British Museum since 1816 after agents working for Scottish nobleman Lord Elgin removed them from the Parthenon Temple on the Athens Acropolis.

About half of the 160-meter frieze that adorned the Parthenon is in the British Museum, while 50 meters of the carvings are in the Acropolis Museum.